... and wields a great deal of political muscle?
This morning at 10:30am on the nose, PoliticsNJ will release The List of “100 Most Powerful People in New Jersey Politics”. Prepare to have their site crash because of all the folks who will log on right at 10:30 on the dot.
The criteria for The List is kept very hush-hush. And The List is probably only important to (a) the folks at PoliticsNJ who actually make up the list, (b) the folks who actually get chosen for the List, (c) those who wish they were on the list, and (d) the folks who get to comment on The List. For the rest of New Jersey’s working class families, it’s a big yawn.
However, since I fit somewhere between between (c) and (d), I am making my predictions about The List --- the night before.
I am sure the folks on The List will include Gov. Jon Corzine [duh], and the former [and possibly future] Acting Governor/Senate President Richard Codey [double 'duh'] ---they certainly deserve it. Also, our two Senators Lautenberg and Menendez wield a great deal of power. Democratic Congressmen Holt, Pallone, and Andrews should find their way somewhere there. And perhaps Loretta Weinberg, Susan Bass Levin, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman and retired NJ Supreme Court Chief Justice Deborah Poritz.
Also, my guess given the state of the Repubs these days nationally, fewer Repubs will be on the list this year statewide. Undoubtedly, Chris Christie [United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey] and Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance will make the list. Where on the list, who knows ---but I predict that Christie will place higher than Lance. Christie is the clear choice [if he so chooses] to challenge Gov. Corzine in 2009, while Sen. Lance will be challenged by Tom Kean, Jr. for the Senate Minority Leadership post. Maybe Jr. will be in the top 100, but he won’t be higher than 50. As far as Mayors go, look for Cory Booker of Newark and Jun Choi of Edison.
There will be a smattering of hired guns here and there in the top 25 ---the usual suspects including Dale Florio, Brad Brewster, Judy Shaw, Hazel Gluck on the Repub side. On the Dem side, certainly Karen Kominsky and Paul Matacera.
There will be some non-governmental players in the top 100, too. In spite of their racist frat-boy antics, Craig Carton and Ray Rossi of 101.5 may be in the top 100. Their show reaches so far and wide, and they have such a powerful drive time listening public, that they wield enormous influence.
It’s a more sure thing than a blackjack bet at any Trump Casino that Juan Melli of BlueJersey.com [named Politician of the Year for 2006 by PoliticsNJ] will be in the top 20, if not the Top 10.
Other non-elected players in the top 100 will be Steven Goldstein of Garden State Equality [who engineered the civil unions in to law, and vows marriage equality to follow within two years]; and Bill Dressel of the NJ State League of Municipalities for his no-nonsense common sense approach advocacy for NJ’s 566 towns.
Who won’t make The List? Well, me, for one. I am fairly certain of that, but who knows.
Also, Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow and Raritan Twp Committeewoman Chris Harcar for their Sunday night fisticuffs. Assemblyman Mike Doherty’s name will be missing--- hard to put someone on The List who does not believe in evolution or global warming or stem cell research.
But the most glaring omission from The List ---and perhaps really the most powerful entity in all of New Jersey --- is the New Jersey voting public. After all, without the voting public, no one on The List would need to be on the Any List at all. And they are no dummies.